Things you can do about sensitive teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition in which pain radiates from the nerve terminals of the tooth when it is exposed to cold, hot, or sweet foods. You can treat your sensitive teeth and improve your circumstances if you know what’s causing them.

Your teeth’s enamel gets affected if you have sensitivity. For example: brushing too hard is never a good idea. If you brush your teeth vigorously, you may be removing more than just plaque. Brushing your teeth side to side at the gum line can harm teeth’s enamel faster. To maintain enamel clean and healthy, brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums using a soft-bristled brush. Avoid excessive acidic foods and beverages, including soda, sticky candies, and high-sugar carbs. Snack on fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, and plain yoghurt instead. These foods can keep your mouth moist and help fight against acid and bacteria that can erode your teeth. 

Another common cause of sensitive teeth is teeth grinding. Grinding can damage your teeth’s enamel and cause sensitivity. Addressing your stress can sometimes be enough to halt the problem. If it doesn’t work, your dentist can make you a mouth guard or a splint.

Tooth sensitivity may also indicate more significant complications, such as:

  • Shrinking gums: People over 40 may have shrinking gum issues as a sign of wear and tear by pulling away from your teeth and uncovering your tooth roots. Those roots don’t have enamel to protect them, so they’re much more sensitive than the rest of your teeth.
  • Gum disease: Your gums may pull back and cause sensitivity due to excessive plaque and tartar buildup. Sometimes, an infection can set in. It can destroy the bone support of your tooth. To treat it, your dentist/hygienist may do a deep clean of your teeth, called planing or scaling, that scrapes tartar and plaque below the gum line. You could also need medication or surgery to fix the problem.
  • Cracked tooth: Broken or chipped tooth may expose your tooth roots. You’ll notice pain when your tooth is cold. How your dentist fixes the damage depends on how deep the crack goes.

Your dentist may recommend using over-the-counter medication and dental products to help recover your enamel. If your case is severe, your dentist might suggest a filling, scaling, extraction or root canal. Ignoring your teeth problems can make things worse. Brush and floss twice a day to keep your smile bright and pain-free. And see your dentist twice a year.

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